Great new friends, lots of free time in amazing cities, terrible customer service from Contiki.
I had an amazing time, but only because of the amazing people I met and the amount of free time we had in some incredible cities away from Contiki staff or activities.
Corfu was absolutely incredible, and George’s Boat was an unforgettable experience. Do not miss this. Absolutely go parasailing.
The Cabaret and Tapas and Flamenco were incredible.
Train your tour managers and on site staff in customer service. So many of them, especially at the Chateux, were rude and seemed to resent doing their jobs.
It is not appropriate to scream at fully grown adults to go to bed. Unfortunately some idiot (one person!) pulled the fire alarm at the Chateux, however this was handled terribly by staff. Treat the 99% of people who didn’t do the wrong thing with respect, apologise for the night being ruined, and explain why the party has to be cancelled. Instead, We were treated like a year seven camp. If I acted towards paying customers like that, I would be fired from my job. It completely ruined our night, and started our trip off with a horrible experience.
The picnic was a complete joke. None of the contiki staff came with us, and the directions were not updated and got us lost. The entire group got lost and split up, and several people got injured. And we came back and the contiki staff were getting drunk in the pool. They didn’t care that we got lost they found it funny.
The Chateux is beautiful, but you might die trying to get into the bunk beds.
Our tour manager was often rude and unhelpful. I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt, but I got yelled at on the second night for asking a question about dinner, because I was very anxious and homesick and wanted to make sure I had the right info. She made me cry and want to leave my trip. I told her several times I had an ankle injury and had accessibility issues. At no point did she provide me with information on what I should skip or prepare myself for because of long walks or hills, or give me options like paying for a cab at my own expense instead of walking up huge stairs. I asked if I could catch an Uber to the Parisian dinner and she said it wasn’t possible, yet people who ran late and missed the bus could. I was in a lot of pain walking up the basilica steps, and she didn’t tell me I could get the stair lift. I told her I was in pain and couldn’t do the walk down and asked if I could get the lift on the way down and she said only if we had time.
She walked ridiculously quickly everywhere we went, meaning a lot of people got lost, split up, or in one case vulnerable to being harassed and pounced on by five hagglers. We would ask her to slow down and she would be rude about it.
We were given a lot of incorrect information. She told us the lourve was closed on the incorrect day so a lot of people missed out. She told us you definitely didn’t need tickets for Park Guell, so we walked up that massive hill only to find it sold out. She didn’t tell us the gaudi apartments were actually called Cassa Bottlo, so google maps kept sending us to random hostels.
The free time add ons were mostly terrible and just a way to make money. All of the walking tours except one were god awful. In Venice we learnt very little about the history, and lot about the tour guides opinion on various shops. However, she recommend Russo Pomodoro. Go there, get the gnocci.
One of the guys aggressively pushed one of the girls that was on our trip, injuring another in the process. This was reported to our tour manager and yet he was allowed to continue onto the Greek Island tour. If there is a zero tolerance policy against drugs, there should be zero tolerance for violence against other travellers.
The coach was always comfy and clean.
Overall it was an amazing trip, but mostly because of the amazing cities and the friends I made.
The way our tour manager and other contiki staff treated us and really out a negative spin on our trip. All the other groups we met were best mates with their driver and TM, and we didn’t get that experience. I really wish I had a better take away from my trip, but there were so many negative experiences so really discoloured my memory of my trip.